Introduction to Python for SAS Programmers (Level 1)

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Duration: 3-4 hours (plus additional time for exercises)

Pre-requisites

This learning pathway is aimed at SAS Programmers.

You should already have:

  • Knowledge of basic programming concepts
  • Understanding of the Language of SAS
  • Some previous programming experience in the Language of SAS

For the hands-on practice activities you will need access to an environment that runs Python.  On our course we signpost you to Anaconda, a free open source platform, to run Python via Jupyter Notebook. 

Anaconda must have a suitable operating platform installed:

  • Windows 8 or newer
  • 64-bit macOS 10.13+
  • or Linux, including Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS 6+, and others.
You will require approximately 5GB of free disk drive space.

Full system requirements can be found here.

Summary Learning Objectives

By the end of this pathway you will be able to:

  1. Explain the differences between SAS Procedural Programming Language (PPL) and Python's Object Orientated Programming (OOP) framework. 
  2. Describe the basic concepts of Python syntax.
  3. Describe what data objects are and how they relate to a Class.

Learning Overview

This learning pathway will give you a solid understanding of the Python building blocks from which to progress on to Python programming.

There are mini quizzes and comprehensive exercises throughout to help assess and reinforce your learning.

Learning Modules

Introduction to Python

Learning Objective: Explain the history of Python.

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Explain Python’s common uses and benefit
  • Describe how Python was created and grew into the language we know today
  • Outline how to successfully move from a SAS environment into Python

Jupyter Notebooks

Learning Objective: Explain what an Integrated Development Environment is and describe how use Jupyter Notebook.

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Identify the usefulness of integrated development environments (IDE)
  • Explain why the Jupyter Notebook IDE is a great tool for getting started in Python
  • Discuss the main functionality of Jupyter Notebook

Python Syntax

Learning Objective: Describe the basic concepts of Python syntax.

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Outline Python’s syntax rules with regards to lines, indentation and tokens
  • Discuss the print() function

Python Variables

Learning Objective: Describe variable naming conventions, storage concepts and data types used in Python.

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Identify the rules with regards to variable naming conventions
  • Name the five native data types of Python
  • Describe the key elements of a variable assignment statement
  • Outline how variables are stored and the importance of knowing a memory location   

Everything is Data

Learning Objective: Explain what data objects are and how they relate to a class.

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Identify what a class is and why it’s important
  • Describe what objects are and their relation to properties and methods
  • Explain how to call the properties and methods within your code
  • Discuss what is meant by the term ‘Everything is Data'
  • Explain what is meant by the term ‘Object-orientated programming language’

Help Functions

Learning Objective: Know where and how to access help in Python

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Locate help topics within python, using the help() function and/or interactive menu
  • Identify the attributes available for any object, using the dir() function
  • Outline other useful help options in Jupyter Notebook.
 

Introduction to Python for SAS Programmers (Level 1)